Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 23, 2009
The day after with Cable

Notes and observations from Tom Cable's Sunday conference call with Bay Area reporters.

Cable said Kirk Morrison, who dislocated his left elbow making a tackle early in Saturday night's 21-20 exhibition loss to the 49ers, should be back by the regular season opener on Sept. 14 and could possibly play in the Raiders' exhibition finale on Sept. 3. More intriguing, though, was Cable's stance that Morrison was leading in his training camp battle with Ricky Brown for starting middle linebacker. And while Brown was also in the mix with Jon Alston for starting strongside linebacker, most of Brown's more immediate reps will come in the middle with Morrison injured.


Run defense is a point of emphasis for the Raiders, so watching the Niners ramble for 275 yards on 47 carries is not a good thing. Far from it. So how will Cable address it this week?

"You've got to set your jaw," he said, "and decide you're not going to get your read end kicked like that."


Javon Walker has been pointing to Monday for his first day of practice. The wide receiver has been such an enigma in his two seasons in Oakland, though, that no one would be surprised if it does not happen.

"As far as we know," Cable said when asked if Walker was still on schedule to practice Monday, "today, right now, yes."

To be fair, though, Walker has looked like the hardest-working player in camp during his individual workouts.


Poor Nick Miller. All the undrafted and undersized rookie receiver/returner was trying to do was reach for an extra yard on a punt return when he fumbled away the ball to seal the loss for the Raiders. Then again, a man's gotta know his limitations. As such, he was getting no love from Cable for his efforts.

"I don't think you get the benefit of the doubt when you turn the ball over," Cable said. "He'll learn from it and we'll move forward."


Cable cited the play of depth chart-challenged defensive tackles Desmond Bryant and William Joseph as impressive, as well as receiver Louis Murphy, who started alongside Darrius Heyward-Bey to give the Raiders a pair of starting rookie receivers.

"He continues to get it done," Cable said of Murphy, who caught two passes for 34 yards, including the 24-yard TD pass from JaMarcus Russell in which Murphy absolutely used Niners cornerback Nate Clements.


The battle for third-string quarterback between Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye is still too tight to call, Cable said.

"One day it's one guy," Cable said, "one day it's the next guy."

Still, I have a sneaking suspicion the Raiders might just keep both guys, making purported No. 2 Jeff Garcia, a four-time Pro Bowler, the odd man out. Not saying it's going to happen, nor do I think it should - that would be ridiculous, given Garcia's pedigree. Just something to file away.

This week's schedule - players practice Monday at 3:30 p.m., have Tuesday off, practice Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., break camp in Napa following an 8:30 a.m. practice on Thursday, have a walkthrough at the Alameda complex Friday at 10:15 a.m., play host to the New Orleans Saints at 1 p.m. Saturday in their third exhibition game and take Sunday off.
Guess who jumped to the Dark Side? That's right, I'm on Twitter now. Follow me at for Raiders and other sports news in the Bay Area.

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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